I was chatting on Twitter and Bagheera came up. For me Bagheera is a girl. Here you go. Click on the title of the post for the video. She shows up at 8:00 minutes.
I cannot remember any more from the book, but hopefully someone can help me from the above descriptions.
Thanks in advance!!!!
I’ve read an interesting blog post today. In it, the author outlined her reasons for why she would and wouldn’t beta read someone’s manuscript. Her reasons are personal to her and this is one of those times where I have to tread carefully, as there is no one way of doing things. So please don’t take this article as a criticism of her view, but rather as another way to approach peer critique.
Peer critique is a tricky thing. Sometimes your peers react like this. Warning: video contains some profanity.
Nobody really wants to be on the receiving end of a freak out. In a workshop environment, you learn to watch out for people who can’t handle criticism. So I won’t elaborate on all of the reasons why one may choose not to critique. Instead, I’d like to offer you some reasons why you should.
Here are Dahlia’s criteria:
- Because I’ve read for you before, and you appreciate it, and you discuss my notes with me or at least act like you’re putting thought into implementing them.
- Because even though I haven’t read for you before, I know from however I know you that you are a decent person who will appreciate it and thank me for it, and think I can probably do a good job.
- Because you have beta’d mine, which I wholeheartedly appreciate. Or you’ve offered to beta mine, genuinely enough that I just might take you up on it someday.
- Because I’m the last round and you’re looking for a very, very light beta read. And I am trusting you, even though I’ve been lied to about this in the past. (See #5.)
As I’ve said, this is one way of looking at things. This set of criteria focuses a lot on the validation of reviewer and reciprocity, which is understandable, because some people do tend to take an unfair advantage of a workshop situation.
As an aspiring writer, my mindset was radically different. I’m very target-focused. See target, proceed to destination by any means necessary. Destination for me was publication and getting there meant getting better so I did whatever I had to do to get better. Nothing else mattered. I figured out early on that workshop environment would be emotionally difficult but would get me there the fastest, so I critiqued probably upward of a thousand or so of chapters and short stories during my three years at sff.onlinewritingworkshop.
Here are my criteria for choosing to read someone’s manuscript, in order of importance.
1) Can I learn from the author?
Successful writers don’t just read, we learn. We learn from our peers’ successes and from their mistakes. Nothing teaches you faster than being forced to critically evaluate another person’s manuscript. It’s not about just pointing out that something doesn’t work, it’s about why it didn’t work and applying it to your own writing. This is it, right there, the primary and most important reason to critique. The manuscript itself could be atrocious, but if I can see that the author does something right, I want to learn from it. If the author does something poorly, I want to learn from it too. Okay, she has a flashback within a flashback – note to self, do not do this, it’s confusing. But her descriptions of action scenes are awesome. Why? What is she doing right? How can I use this?
But this is all about you and not the person you’re critiquing. Yep. The person I’m critiquing may be my friend and I might care deeply about her success as a writer, but I want to succeed too. I want to make it, so yes, it is all about me. Alternatively, the person I am critiquing could be a complete ass, but if he has a brilliant manuscript, I don’t care. Gimme. I want to know what he is doing right and how he’s doing it.
2) Can I learn from this author’s critique, if they reciprocate?
Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve ran across other writers in the workshop environment who could write circles around me, and I knew that my technical critique wasn’t that useful to them. I would concentrate on offering reader reactions, because those are always helpful, and hope they drove by my latest chapter and pointed out my blind spots. I would go and critique Charlie Finlay’s work, because he was miles better than me, and keep my fingers crossed he would stop by and offer some feedback, because I wanted to know how his brain worked.
3) Will the person be abusive if I critique them?
This is a distant third. Creative assholes are a special breed of assholes, so sometimes you have to decide if the benefit of learning outweighs the torrent of vitriol you will get back.
4) Will I get to see the second draft?
An even more distant fourth. I never expect that any of my suggestions will be implemented. Once I finished the critique, my part in this process is done. The writer of the manuscript owes me nothing except a thank you and possibly a reciprocal critique if this was prearranged.
Even that second one should become less and less of an issue. If people don’t want to critique my manuscript, if they don’t feel compelled to ask me for it, then as a writer, I’m failing. Why isn’t my manuscript engaging enough? Why isn’t it fun enough? The goal is to get to the stage where you offer your work for feedback and people jump on it. But in the beginning, I was writing crap. If someone reciprocated, I felt privileged.
The author doesn’t owe me the implementation of my suggestions. They have their vision and I have mine. In the end, it is their manuscript, their work, their words. If my critique wasn’t useful, so be it. Take what you can use, ignore the rest. No hurt feelings. Feelings don’t even come into this equation unless they are on the page.
I’ve previously received a critique from a published author. I was unpublished and she had won awards. I had read her critique like it came down from Mount Sinai, analyzed it, took a deep breath and chose to ignore it, because it didn’t fit my vision of the narrative. And later, when I blogged about it, she came by and said, “Good for you!” On the flip side, I’ve received beta feedback from someone on Magic Rises a month ago and I’ve implemented 95% of it.
When Magic Bites was about to be published, our editor asked us to cut the manuscript for length by about a quarter. She suggested that we should take out the front and end frame and the entire Olathe subplot. The scene with vampires on the ceiling would be gone. Her rationale was perfectly sound. It would be easy to cut it and it would eliminate a huge number of words with a minimum fuss. But the entire series arc hinged on that scene. Our editor didn’t know this at the time. We didn’t even know there would be a series, but we were hoping. So, being green, I scraped enough courage together and asked if we could cut somewhere else. The answer stunned me. She said, “Of course. I’m just pointing out the problem and one possible solution.”
Critique points out problems. It is up to the author to validate these problems and try to find the best possible solution for them.
But, if I offer critique, I do like to see the second draft. I want to know how the problems were addressed, if they were addressed, so I can learn from it.
Since writing became a career, unfortunately there is a new criteria that overrides everything: do I have time? Usually I don’t, unless you’re a friend whose work I love, in which case I will make time.
So there you go. An alternative point of view for the day. How you critique and why ultimately hinges on what you want to get out of it.
Standard disclaimer: Don’t take what I write as gospel. There are many roads to publication and success as a writer and many definition of that success. Mine is not the only way to go, nor is it the best way – you have to find your own. This is simply how I did it and your mileage will vary.
So below I have listed a brief description of the books and all that I remember.
Peter Pan - not literally but a spin off. Its about a boy [main boy] (from the "human" world) who loves an older girl [girl 1] who's way out of his league but thinks as him as a friend. Another boy "peter pan" from the another world "never land" comes into the human world looking for females. (to have sex with because his race is becoming extinct) meets girl 1 and whisks her away (of course there is struggle, main boy, friends and brother fights back, and one of peter's friends lifts main boy into the air later on.) Boy 1 convinces his brother and brothers friends that girl 1 has been taken to a magical world by peter and you have to go through a forest to do it. The brother humors him and off the leave... stuff happens.... they enter the world, another boy who came with them [dead boy] dies a gruesome death, (his spine gets ripped out of his back by a giant thing).... stuff happens... they find peter who tells them that the giant things are in fact their fathers because females of their race became non existence so they went in to the human world and took human females to carry on their race, but they hated their offspring (peter and his friends) and wanted to kill them all. Also it turns out Dead boys girlfriend who came with them is like peter (she is a half-breed between giant thing and human)... lots of stuff, happen, the go back to the human world.
Vampires- sorry can't exactly remember what happens here but the main character is a male vampire who has a human girlfriend that has AIDS. (This might be a series) Later on, said human girlfriend becomes a vampire. Oh and I think there's a new vampire drug on the street that has different vampire clans fighting with each other. One clan is lead by a male, the other a female, I think the city the story is based in is Brooklyn or new York or Manhattan (or some big place like that in US). There is also a small role by a cult vampire group who starve themselves because they believe that by doing so they can cure them self. Main character (vampire guy) sees them a few times and the two clashing clans has a fear of this cult.
Psycho Kid- (another story about a boy) Bike boy gets his bike stolen by the local "gangsters" in town and knows his dad will be pissed, so bike boy convinces brother and brothers friends to steal the bike back. The gangsters are 3 brothers (Mexican or something). The two brothers (bike boy and brother are white, on friend is white and one is Mexican [i think]) They go to the house where the bikes are, takes bike boy's bike back but one friend steals some cocaine (cocaine boy) and they may or may not blow up the house. gangster brothers are mad, their connection (old fat white drug dude) sets up a trap for bike boy, cocaine boy, brother and friend at an abandon house to steal stuff. The fall for it, bike boy get hurt bad, Mexican boy (friend) gets beaten as well (with a chain because i am pretty sure after they blew up the house (i think) he uses a chain to destroy one of the gangster brothers car and that pisses them off), they send cocaine boy to go get the stash of cocaine, he goes home but it turns out his dad got rid of the drugs, bike boy and brother dad gets worried corners cocaine boy but he escapes. Bike boy who is hurt back at the house goes crazy and kills people with this spike thing (like a mace). Bike boys father shows up just in time to witness his youngest son doing this. Bike boy falls into a coma. Turns out the father is a crazy "gangster" from his younger days. a lot of stuff happen. The definitely blow up this house. Bike boy forgets his little killing spree..... nadada end of book
Now if anyone recognizes these story plots or this author, let me know. Thanks
P.S. This may or may not help, but I read these books from a public library in Ontario Canada. I think the author is american though because I am pretty sure all the stories take place in USA but you never know, he could just be a Canadian with a creative imagination.
P.S.S I may refer to the author as a male but he or she could very well be a she. (but i think "its" a male)
By Dame Toni
I try not to be a snob.
I have no reason to be one. I come from a family that had at least as many blue collar workers and tradesman as white collar professionals. I didn’t go to a distinguished university. I drive a car older than my neighbor’s teenage kids, and there’s a blue tarp on the roof of my house.
But I have had the privilege of being exposed to some things that some people might consider high-brow. Grand Opera. Haute couture. Gourmet cuisine. Superb wines.
In almost every case, my brushes with the trappings of the elite were due to being in the right place at the right time. They are not evidence that I am morally, intellectually, or biologically superior to people who have NOT tasted perfectly prepared foie gras or listened to Leontyne Price singing an aria. And, it should be noted, the fact that I’ve eaten (and enjoyed) Sevruga caviar while sipping fine champagne does not mean that I have lost my taste for a lovely, crispy Buffalo chicken wing washed down with an ice cold Miller High Life. Consumed while listening to Hank Williams sing Lovesick Blues, preferably.
On top of that, not only I can actually AFFORD to enjoy chicken wings and draft beer on a semi-regular basis, but I can think of at least five places within seven miles of my home where I can get them. They’re accessible.
Okay, so maybe I’m a little hungry (and thirsty) while ‘’m writing this, and that may be why it’s taking me so long to get to the point. But I’m actually writing about writing. Specifically, writing popular fiction.
All of the Dames write popular fiction. I don’t think any of us would describe ourselves as “literary” writers. We work our fannies off producing stories that are accessible. But, just because our books are not the literary equivalent of Grand Opera, there are always going to be those who take a look at the covers (and no further) and say, “Oh, that’s what you write. I don’t read those kinds of books.”
It’s really hard to remain gracious with book snobs. Oh, I do–I can be the very soul of diplomacy when it’s appropriate. But one of these days someone is going to catch me on the wrong day, and I’m going to grab Mr. or Ms. I-only-read-novels-nominated-for-a-Pulit
Well, what am I going to do to them? I mean, I want to punish them, but I also want them to learn that they’re wrong about popular fiction.
I know! I’ll lock them in a room let them read all of the books in a really good Urban Fantasy series EXCEPT FOR THE LAST INSTALLMENT. When they ask me what happens next, I’ll shrug and give them a copy of The Corrections instead.
P.S. So, which series should I give them? I’m open to suggestions.
P.P.S. Okay, so I actually liked The Corrections, but I listened to it as an audio book during a time when I had a very long commute. The reader was so good that I didn’t realize that the print book apparently has sentences that last for several pages. Eek!
With the recent release of NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE in ebook format, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you a story very dear to my heart. It’s a story about my cat, Midnight.
Off to the left here is the cover of the new ebook, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE. Isn’t it a beauty?
The story starts with a book tour that I did for the book, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE. It was on this tour that my brother in law discovered a black kitten who was begging for food at a convenience store. The cat didn’t belong to anyone and so my brother in law brought the cat to my husband and myself. Now, here I was with a book called NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, and here was a black cat, and so we named him Midnight Thunder — or Midnight for short.
Off to the left here is a picture of Midnight as a small kitten. Isn’t he cute? I was touring all through the state of Montana and I believe my brother in law had found the kitten in Wyoming, and so we brought the Wyoming cat back with us to California. Last May Midnight had gone missing. I was out of town at the time and so my husband had the burden of trying to find Midnight. He wrote up a poster and posted it on as many telephone poles as he could find. He went door-to-door in a neighborhood that we had just moved in to. And he went out calling for him each night.
We eventually found Midnight at a shelter, and put together what we think happened that sent him missing. Midnight loves to sleep on cars and we believe that he crawled into the back of a truck parked close-by to us and whoever owned the truck drove off with Midnight inside, unknowing that he carried a passenger.
We were so happy to have Midnight back. However, the shelter insisted on giving Midnight a full round of vaccines (and Midnight was an older cat — at age 13) and they put a chip in his head. We begged them not to do so as Midnight had been sick prior to getting lost, and we were afraid that a full round of vaccines would destroy his already overloaded immune system. But in California our pleas fell on deaf ears due to strict laws in California.
The sad news is that we lost him only three months after he returned to us. But rather than dwell on our loss of him, let me tell you about this wonderful cat who lived with us for thirteen years, and who stole our hearts.
Midnight was a social cat. He loved people and no matter where we have lived, our neighbors might not know us, but they’ve always known Midnight. He’d been shot as a kitten by some mean-spirited person, and so my husband and I were really glad to give him a home. He turned out to be the heart of the family — no matter what new cat we brought home (and there have been many), Midnight was always there to welcome them. When all the other cats would ignore the newcomer, Midnight was always a friend.
He was potty trained from the beginning, by the way– always a plus. Once we had a neighbor who took it into his mind to shoot him with a pellet gun. It broke his leg. That neighbor paid the vet bill on that one. And so Midnight continued to make friends in the neighborhood.
Now, my Lakota Godson told me that Midnight was once a dog, and Midnight has many “dog traits.” One of them is that he will always come to you when you call his name — very un-catlike. While other cats might be stand-offish, Midnight was always been friendly to everyone, and he was a dearly loved part of our family.
I promised to tell you a bit about the story of NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, so perhaps I’ll close with some reviews of the book — here’s one from Amazon:
It’s not that I don’t want to grow old, because, as the line goes, ‘consider the alternative,’ but it’s because I often forget.
I play tennis. I have since I was 9 or 10 years old. For the past 20 years my partner of choice has been my sister. Late last year she injured her knee and hasn’t been able to play since, so I have been just going to tennis workouts. Last Thursday as I was leaving the workout, I noticed a flier about USTA (US Tennis Association) League Tennis. I was a member of USTA for years when I played in leagues and tournaments, but after I stopped, I let my membership lapse because I didn’t seem to need it – you have to be a member to play in leagues and tournaments.
So, back to the flier. It seems USTA has changed the age brackets and, much to my surprise, not only am I a senior, but I am now a super senior. Not only did that surprise me, but when I decided to look up the previous ages, I discovered that I had been considered a senior many years ago, much earlier than I would have expected. Someone, somewhere, thinks that you age faster as an athlete. I’m not so sure I believe that, but it’s working in my favor for now, so I won’t dispute it.
I’ve heard it said that age is just a number, and you’re as young as you feel. But, for me, sometimes it helps to remember that I really am aging and there’s a reason why I come home a bit sore after a workout – whether at the gym or on the courts – and that it also takes a little bit longer for my muscles to recover than it used to.
As for tennis – I have improved over the years and I have no doubt that if I faced off with my high school tennis persona now, her youth might outlast me, but she wouldn’t walk away with an easy win – if she won at all. Experience does count for something.
Con or Bust’s dinocorn T-shirts will be available for sale in the WisCon dealer’s room, at the Aqueduct table, hopefully starting late this afternoon (that is, after my flight gets in and I claim my boxes from the hotel).
V-neck fitted T-shirts are available in purple in sizes M-2XL (details):
Shirts are $20 each; all profits are used to help fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF cons.
After WisCon, the shirts will be available by mail; I’ll put up a post when they are. Please spread the word!